Monday, June 30, 2008

Obviously, sending 88% of the male population of the US to Guantanamo would go a long way toward solving our violence problem ...

According to the Department of Justice, 88% of violent crime in the U.S. is committed by men. But as a society, we rarely talk about the prevalence of male violence, or how striking it is that gender, more than any other factor, is such a predictor of violent behavior.
No need to worry about 2nd Amendment rights and such. Bush has already (and Obama concurs) eliminated the rest of our rights. So let's just ship off the violent ones (don't forget serial-torturer George Bush and Face-Shooter Cheney) to Guantanamo. George Bush has made sure it's nice and cozy. It should suit him and his friends just fine.

By eliminating the 88% most violent portion of the population the US should turn into quite a peaceful place. More jobs to go around. More elbow room.

Solves a lot of problems. Just like Bush-baby. Identify the problem. Build a jail and send whoever you don't like there. Very American, I must say.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it ...

[NOTE: Just practicing good standard US 'journalism' in moving from 88% of violent crimes to 88% of the male population. Much more eye catching that way, if not more informative.]

Husaifa Parhat imprisoned at Guantanamo for 6 years because ... ?

  • Parhat had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11.
  • Parhat did not participate in, plan, or even support, any hostile action against the United States or its allies.
  • Parhat is not part of any nation or organization that "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" those attacks.
  • Parhat is not a member of al Qaeda or of the Taliban.
  • The Pentagon’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) did not identify him to be "an individual who was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaida forces."
  • The CSRT expressly found that he did not engage in hostilities against the United States or the Northern Alliance (an Afghani coalition partner of the United States).
Inspite of that George Bush and the US Military has imprisoned Huzaifa Parhat at Guantanamo for more than six years. Just because he [George Bush] can ... ? Just because the US Congress refuses to do its job? Just because most people in the US don't even seem to care what their government is doing in their name? Just because ... ?

It's Obama that deserves the 'rebuke'

Maybe Obama should put his brain in gear:
Barack Obama just delivered a speech on patriotism in Independence, Mo., hometown of what was once America’s most powerful haberdasher, and offered a mild rebuke to Wesley Clark, who took on John McCain’s military record the other day in rather scorching terms.
But, of course, if you're going to run as a Republcan Lite then you don't need any Democrats supporting you, do you? Do you want them to vote for you or don't you need that either?

This is what passes for scorching when a Democrat says it (if a Republican says the same thing it could be considered a compliment):
"I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."

General Wesley Clark, USA (Ret.) [via Upper Left]

Well, it's almost over ...

Obama has morphed into one of those craven and cowardly Dems who cringe, deny everything and leave the few courageous Dems still around out to dry.

Barack Obama, who so courageously attacked Hillary Clinton (with the help of the press) has turned into wet spaghetti now that the press is on the other side.

Obama has decided that John McCain's war experience qualifies McCain to be President of the U.S. That's interesting, because BushCo and Rove didn't think so way back when ...

And in the process of pushing McCain for President, Obama pulled the rug out from under Wes Clark. What happened to that vaunted Obama machine, now that the press is no longer running interference?

I know the conventional Democratic wisdom, which is undoubtedly media inspired, is that even flawed as he is, Obama is better the McCain. I buy into it one day, and not the next. I'll undoubtedly vote for Obama, but I see no hope in an Obama Presidency. Either McCain or Obama mean a further decline of the United States into a corporation controlled state with increasing poverty, unfairness and unrest.

Really, Obama sounds more Republican, more like Bush daily. I'm afraid Obama really does have the Dems living on hope and hope alone as he shifts further and further right. He even has Olbermann inventing strategy for him.

Progressives do not have a party. The Democratic Party in the guise of Barack Obama does NOT want to be bothered by progressives. Obama has made it very clear he is not interested in hearing from us. He'll take money but no input. We do not count.

The only hope you have with Obama is that you may get your reward in Heaven. Obama has given every indication that it will be business as usual if he's elected. Social Security, Healthcare. Forget it. He's not interested.

He's not a doddering old fool. He's a young power seeking politician who will vote against the Constitution if he thinks it increases his chances of winning. Or perhaps he voted against the Constitution and for spying on Americans because he believes in doing just that. Either way, it ain't good.

Links: Wesley Clark on Face the Nation: CNN accuses Clark of “Swiftboating” , Don't Want to Say I Told You So..., Where's the Change?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Imagine your doctors think they're your representatives ...

Well in Missouri the Missouri State Medical Association, The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society filed a suit claiming they were their patients 'representatives.' Their woman patients, of course. Isn't that a given?

After the bill, which dealt with numerous health issues as well as including the midwifery provision, was passed and signed into law by the Governor, the Missouri State Medical Association, The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society filed suit to invalidate the section that would allow legal midwifery practice in the state. The lower court invalidated the statute, but an appeal was filed by the State of Missouri along with Friends of Missouri Midwives, the Missouri Midwives Association, and other parties.

The medical associations seeking to invalidate the law had claimed standing for the challenge by arguing that physicians may be subject to disciplinary actions if they cooperate with midwives, and that they should be allowed to challenge the law on behalf of patients as their representatives. The Court disagreed on both of these matters and indicated that the groups had no standing to challenge the Constitutionality of the law. They therefore reversed the lower court decision, allowing the law legalizing midwifery in Missouri to stand.

Bet Missouri isn't the only place where physicians think they should rule women's lives.

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... Unfortunately, it is only a crime to lie to the government ... The government, politicians, the media can lie to us all they wish, and they do, repeatedly, consistently, arrogantly.

Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect. But we have never -- never in over 200 years, never until BushCo took office -- tried to sell off part of the Bill of Rights and call it "protecting freedom." Orwell would be proud.

... The daddies in Washington want you to know they have an eye on the bad guys for you. Problem is, they think you are the bad guy.

Hoyer and Pelosi have to go: Hoyer has this backwards. The nature of a "compromise" is that neither side is happy with the outcome. Where, as here, one side is ecstatic and the other side is furious, that, by definition, is not a "compromise." It is, as Russ Feingold correctly says, a full-scale "capitulation." Hoyer's bill gives the two gifts the administration most wanted -- the power to engage in "vacuum-cleaner" surveillance of communications over U.S. telephone and email networks with no warrant requirement (and no required connection to Terrorism) and a guaranteed end to the telecom lawsuits. ... Hoyer and Pelosi have been so deceitful during this latest FISA abomination that their word can never be believed nor trusted.

The team also found that certain genes that appear to have undergone accelerated evolution in the human line, including some related to brain function, have also undergone accelerated evolution in the dog. The results "cast serious doubt" on recent high-profile claims that rapid changes in such genes played a role in the evolution of unique features of the human brain (ScienceNOW, 20 April), says evolutionary geneticist John Fondon III of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The incongruity, the irony, the absurdity: The United States has faced numerous problems finding countries that are willing to accept foreign prisoners [from Guantanamo, no less] who can't return to their own countries because of concerns that they might be tortured there. How can the farce keep getting more farcical. There should be a limit, but evidently there isn't. Farce and tragedy strangling US ethical standards, world standing and repute.

I'll second this: Only the unprecedented, monumental malevolence of the current administration has kept me from turning my back on the Dems ...And Turkana lists a few specific reasons why there is no choice but to stay with, and keep prodding, the Democrats.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Self defense does not mean one can hear a noise, go outside and start shooting ...

This post at Firedoglake is absolute bunk. Not in the fact that Americans may kill Iraqi families and not in the fact that US police may raid the homes of US Citizens in the manner that we once thought more attuned to the tactics of the Gestapo. Unfortunately these events are already happening.

I cannot imagine any judge or jury accepting a claim that anyone has the right to hear something outside their house, take a gun, go outside and start shooting into the dark. That is not self defense. Random shooting without even knowing what one is shooting at is not self defense.

From what I've been reading on various law blogs is while the Supreme Court has decided the 2nd Amendment establishes a right to defend oneself with a gun (or other weapon), the ownership, possession, use etc can still be regulated as long as such regulation is not in effect an arbitrary prohibition from gun ownership. So it may still be established that felons cannot own guns, that training is required, etc. I'm sure the specifics will still vary from state to state the same as they currently do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama is more black than white and I'm more tall than short ...

[Correction: As you can probably guess, the title was supposed to be "Obama is more white than black etc.]

Think Progress quotes Jonathan Weisman:
He [Senator Obama] really did not become immersed in black American culture until he left college and went to Chicago. The great irony is that he is much more white than black, beyond skin color.
Well ... I reallly didn't immerse myself in the culture of shortness, or tallness for that matter, until I lived in a country where I was taller than many people I encountered. I suddenly became aware of 'shortness' as only a tall person can experience it. Now, the great irony is that at 5'4" (and falling) I'm much more tall than short. This is just way beyond the stature issues with short and tall.

GOP and Tobacco undermine law and justice ...

Another sordid tale of deep-rooted, organized GOP corruption:
Justice for Sale: How Big Tobacco and the GOP teamed up to crush Democrats in the South

Well, maybe Senator Reid may be allowed to stay for awhile ...

UPDATE: ... but not for very long.
About FISA legislation Senator Harry Reid is reported to have
announced not only that he would co-sponsor the Dodd amendment to strip immunity out of the bill, but would also vote against the bill on final passage: ...
Does he mean it? And will he just vote no but speed the bill on its way otherwise? This kind of deceit is not unknown to Harry ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

Why I hate politics: ... What had been a vicious assault on our Constitution, and corrupt complicity to conceal Bush lawbreaking, magically and instantaneously transformed into a perfectly understandable position, even a shrewd and commendable decision, that we should not only accept, but be grateful for as undertaken by Obama for our Own Good.

... Maj Gen Hood [said] that there was no special effort to collect intelligence from Mr. Jawad, that he was not believed to possess any valuable intelligence. This is borne out by the fact, at least based on the information provided to me by the government, that no interrogations of Mr. Jawad took place at or near the time that he was being tortured. Thus, the most likely scenario is that they simply decided to torture Mr. Jawad for sport, to teach him a lesson, perhaps to make an example of him to others. ...

Torturegate: Truth, But No Consequences

In short, Rutten – an experienced, respected, liberal journalist writing for one of the largest newspapers in the land – lays out a compelling case that the President of the United States and his chief officers have committed capital crimes under American law. And what does he propose we do about it?


Nobody could have predicted that two sociopathic former oil executives, when put in charge of the only superpower in the world, would invade a sovereign oil-rich Middle Eastern nation for the benefit of oil companies: ...

The Press' Track Record: The press told us back in 2000 that Al Gore was a big phony, remember? And George W. Bush was a down to earth, "uniter not a divider" who would bring "honor and dignity" back to the White House. That worked out really well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Representative Raul Grijalva acts to protect the Grand Canyon ...

“We cannot wait while uranium mining claims continue to be filed and the Bush Administration continues to use the exclusionary clause to allow uranium mining exploration and eventual mining operations within public lands in close proximity to the Grand Canyon National Park.”
Of course with an administration that ignores all but their corporation-centered desires and a Democratic Congress that let's them get away with it and even condones it as we've seen in the FISA abomination, it's not clear whether these types of actions mean much.

Unless Congress stands up for themselves as an equal branch of the government they will never have the power to get anything done that the administrative branch isn't willing to do. I thought we helped the Democrats to a majority in order to get some of that balance between the three branches back. Obviously, at a minimum, I didn't understand the corruption of the Democratic leadership. They have no intention of doing their job.

Caving now may seem like a good strategy to the Obama campaign and the more unthinking of his followers, but given the dynamics we've seen in the last couple decades, where a McCain presidency will be given a free pass by the media, an Obama presidency will most likey encounter the opposite treatment. And since the Democratic majority has just demonstrated that they will kowtow to the will of the corporate-controlled media and their individual corporate sponsors (because that's really who they are bowing to, even if the media is doing Bush' bidding, it's the media that amplifies the administration propaganda and fear tactics). Since most likely Obama would become the media's target, as did President Clinton, we would soon see cooperation between the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress aimed at a President Obama. After all Democrats just showed they cater to media and corporate pressure more than to either principles, the Constitution or the voters.

Massimo Calabresi, in line for the Aromatic Journalist Turd Award ...

Massimo Calabresi writing for Time Magazine (Behind the Compromise on Spying) is a sterling example of a Journalist who qualifies for this fragrant and sought after award. Glenn Greenwald documents Calabresi's outstanding Orwellian approach to masticating and regurgitating government propaganda. Kudos to Massimo Calaresi and Time Magazine. We expect to see more excellent writting in support of the authoritarian corporatist state, as well as further assistance in dismantling that pesky US Constitution, as you continue to massage and transcribe all truthiness emanating from our country's deserving leadership.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How Arizona Representatives Voted On FISA Amendments Act of 2008 ...

There are eight Congressional Representatives from Arizona split evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Two (Gifford and Mitchell) are new 'hires.' This is a very poor showing for these two new Democrats in Congress. Right off the bat they vote to exempt telecomm corporations from any crimes they may have committed and institute blanket, unconstitutional warrantless spying on American citizens. This is a power that Bush illegally usurped and was unable to get Congress to pass UNTIL the Democrats became a majority and with the help of new 'hires' who were supposed to be better than their Republican predecessors. You can see how that worked out.

The two other Democratic Reps (Grijalva, since 2003 and Pastor, since 1991) both voted against the abomination that is the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

Of course we expected the Republicans to vote for spying and immunity for the rich and they did.

I would like to thank both Raul Grijalva (who is my Rep) and Ed Pastor for their votes in this matter. I hope they both tried to sway their cohorts in the House to stand up for the Constitution. Over half the Democrats did but too many, 105 Democrats, voted to pass this GOP written legislation which was then rushed through by the Democratic 'leadership' in a manner reminiscent of the Republicans. Closed doors sessions, secrecy, failure to give any time to study the legislation. The kind of behaviour that Pelosi stated would NEVER happen under her watch.

The 105 Democrats, including Pelosi and Hoyer, and along with Reid in the Senate need to be excised from House and Senate.

Rep. Rick Renzi [R, AZ-1]
- Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Rep. Trent Franks [R, AZ-2] - Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Rep. John Shadegg [R, AZ-3] - Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Rep. Edward Pastor [D, AZ-4] - Nay. Voted to protect individual rights and to hold communication companies liable under the law for any crimes they may have committed to be determined by judge and jury.

Rep. Harry Mitchell [D, AZ-5] - Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Rep. Jeff Flake [R, AZ-6] - Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Rep. Raul Grijalva [D, AZ-7] - Nay. Voted to protect individual rights and to hold communication companies liable under the law for any crimes they may have committed to be determined by judge and jury.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords [D, AZ-8] - Yea. Voted to destroy the Constitution, give lawbreakers (rich lawbreakers) a get out of court free card and blanket, warrantless spying on US Citizens.

Michelle Obama and the case of the angry media turds ...

turd |tərd|
noun vulgar slang
a lump of excrement.
• a person regarded as obnoxious or contemptible.
C&L has a post titled: Cal Thomas says America only sees ‘Angry black women’ on TV
The attacks on Michelle Obama have “only just begun.” On FOX News Watch last week, James Pinkerton was his usual smarmy self, but Cal Thomas engaged in some of the most racist diatribes I’ve seen so far on television.
It's the media that's angry with an anger that is primed and focused by the corporate bosses who insist on the GOP line, whatever that may be at the present time.

This time the corporate/GOP goal is to support McCain and attack Democrats, any and all Democrats except those special few pseudo Democrats who love being humiliated on TV.

With Michelle Obama the media gets a bonanza. She female and black. They can be so creative with their hate against women and blacks. And when it comes to women we already know that the media looks at us as fair game anyway. With blacks they have to be a little bit more subtle, but will that still be the case by the time this campaign is over? Whatever they do they will forgive themselves afterward and then continue business as usual.

As we've already witnessed the media has completely exonerated themselves of all blame in their blatant, overt, crude and disgusting display of sexism in the case of Hillary Clinton. Either the coverage was an accident, or it wasn't really that bad, or it was misunderstood, or they didn't really mean it, or it was just a joke already, or it was her fault anyway as she was too bossy, too weak, too determined, too whiney, not emotional enough, too emotional and on and on and on. The bottom media line is always that their victims deserve what they get.

[I did notice that the Obama campaign didn't seem to care in the case of Hillary, though. Democrats just don't come to the defense of principles if it might help their opponent, it seems. Now we know that Obama won't defend the Constitution on principle either.]

But I'm not a very good Democrat anyway so I'll state that Michelle Obama should not be subjected to the media torture that's already starting. It's embarrassing for our country that Hillary was treated this way. Michelle is not even running for office and the media are sharpening their knives, doing the GOP/Corporate bidding. They've been well trained or well recruited. They are doing what comes naturally. Point out the target and the hate comes spewing out.

And it's usually going to be a Democrat. Female Democrats are special fun. Of course flood victims, abused children will work in a pinch.

Stop it. Don't you see what you are doing/have done to our country?

War Deaths Underreported by a factor of 3 ...

The study (at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington) contradicts previous studies that suggest deaths due to armed conflicts have dropped significantly since the Korean war.
In Bangladesh, for example, the researchers estimate that 269,000 people died violently in the 1971 war for independence, compared to previous estimates of 58,000. And comparing their estimate with previous estimates decade by decade, the researchers conclude that "there is no evidence" for a decreasing trend in war-related deaths since the 1950s.

The team focused on World Health Organization data from the 13 countries in which people reported the highest number of sibling deaths due to war. These include some of the deadliest conflicts in the latter half of the 20th century, such as those in Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and Bosnia. Of the 43,874 deaths noted by siblings in the surveys, 917 were reported to be the result of war injuries. Using census data for each country, the team extrapolated a figure of 5.4 million war-related deaths in these 13 countries between 1955 and 2002.

That figure is three times higher than estimates compiled a few years ago for global war-related deaths over the same period ...
It's not like governments (like ol' freedom lovin' US) and others (Blackwater, anyone) don't have an incentive to underreport deaths, unless of course, they are trying to show progress in which case they may inflate the 'enemy' body count while ignoring 'collateral' murders (or just count all bodies, civilian men, women and children at enemy deaths).

Nasty business, governments and wars ...

The dumbing of America ... omega-6 vs omega-3 fatty acids

The team, ..., also found that omega-6 fatty acids interfere with cognition
Not to mention that 'violence, major depression, suicide, and bipolar disorder' are associate with low omega-3, high omega-6 diet.

Just thank your corporate food designers and marketers.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now digby doesn't write many stupid things, but ...

... I think this may qualify (or maybe I'm reading too much of Arthur Silber).
He [Obama] does say that if he wins, he promises not to abuse the power it gives him, so I guess we should feel good about that.
Really? He won't use it. And he didn't even swear an oath to that! But he did swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. And he's breaking that one. So we should feel good about his promises but he can break all the oaths he wants to?

Then she says in the next paragraph that he had to have been a party to this in the first place. But he won't use the power. Right!

What gets me is why would the Republicans want this much power in the hands of the President when they don't know who that will be?

It's really difficult for intelligent, informed loyal Democrats at this point. Obama is expecting you to fall in line like any good Republican would ...

We already know that Obama doesn't respect the blogosphere. He wants this entity to shut up. He, and the Republicans, can't control it. I suggest, given the manner in which the House was subverted by a Democratic majority, that both Democrats and Republicans will soon start looking to shut down online freedom. That could happen quite speedily if they employ the GOP rule book like they did for FISA.

So, if we can't even effect the outcome of FISA how can we do anything about a war with Iran ...

Prefatory Thoughts on the Enablers of Evil

War has always been and will always be the most crucial means by which repressive, tyrannical government cements its massive powers and acquires still new ones. The consequences of an attack on Iran will be huge and certainly irreversible, at least in our lifetimes, both at home and abroad. It's an interesting question: why all these fired-up activists will take on a battle such as the FISA one, while they are absolute in their refusal to try to stop the drive to war with Iran.
This Enablers of Evil post has interesting responses to digby's post Talk to the Hand. His knowledge of history adds an important perspective for those who are trying to figure out how best to address what's happening to our country. I've thought for sometime now that we've already lost though like with Obama and FISA I do keep hoping I'm wrong. It's very easy from hindsight to list the steps that led to catastrophe, but it not so easy to know which is the fatal step when you're on that downward staircase yourself. It's apparent to many that we've taken most of the step that lead to fascism (corporate/government authoritarianism, if you prefer). Can we step back? I don't know. The steps get easier and easier, specially with the 'Democratic' Congress and the 'Democratic nominee' cooperating so thoroughly.

Even though history shows us the pattern, outcomes do vary.

John McCain, the Latinos' friend ... oh, yeah

McCain To Latinos: I’m Your Pal, Just Don’t Tell Anyone

A few more details on that late-night, closed-door town-hall session John McCain held with Hispanic community members in Chicago the other night are finally becoming available -- thanks to one of the wingnuts in attendance. (... read the rest)
I particularly liked this quote:
Then John MC Cain asked a question "Did you know this? I bet some of you did not know that Spanish was spoken in Arizona before English"
Really? You mean they weren't speaking English here when what is now Arizona was part of Mexico (that will probably be quite a shock to the minutemen crowd)? And did you know other languages were spoken in this region even before the Spanish and the English? Good grief.

I hoped I was wrong about Barack Obama, but he capitulated on FISA ...

Obama's full statement on the House's spying capitulation (via email).
Barack baby supports the compromise that isn't a compromise. He supports passing legislation that didn't need to be passed. He pretends the legislation is protecting us little people when we know who just got the power they usurped made legal and who gets to get all those law suits thrown out of court. He supports making the crimes of corporations and presidents un-crimes. He supports doing whatever the Bushie baby says because Bushie baby is pres. So when/if he's president, he's all of a sudden going to change?

Say again. What's the reason it's so important to elect a Democrat as president? Because they believe in civil rights, the constitution, the rule of law? Was that it?

How's that working out for you?

Sorry, you had me convinced. But I don't see it any longer. I don't think he'll protect SS. I don't think he'll stop US warmongering. I don't trust him any more than I do Bushie baby. Why should I? Oh, but he's going to put better judges in. Really? What makes you think so?

Obama has obviously calculated that sacrificing the rule of law and the Fourth Amendment is a worthwhile price to pay to bolster his standing a tiny bit in a couple of swing states.

From EmptyWheel - In case you couldn't parse the three bolded sentences yourself, here's my take on them.

  1. I will make a showy effort in the Senate on Monday to get them to take out immunity. I will lose that effort 32-65. But hey! I can say I tried!
  2. But don't worry, little boys and girls, Inspectors General are an adequate replacement for our third co-equal branch of government!
  3. Nice little bloggers! Aren't you cute! After you demanded accountability we gave you piggy lipstick and fig leaves and told you it was time to move on while we important Senators told you--in polite terms--to fuck off.

Still waiting for Barack Obama to lead on the FISA issue ...

Silence ...

So the Democratic House deliberately passed a law violating the Constitution.

WhyNow? writes:

Here’s the House votes page, so you see the names of the Stalinists, including Nancy Pelosi, who approved violating your rights under the Fourth Amendment and allowing criminals to walk free.

Nice leadership on this issue from the “presumptive” Democratic nominee for President. I guess the supporting the Constitution would have interfered with his “bi-partisanship”.

From Obama, still silence ... I didn't really expect any leadership from him, but I did 'hope.'

Contribute to Or at ActBlue.

The Democratic leadership and the 105 Democratic Ratfink Representatives who voted 'Yes' on this abomination just spit in our faces. We need to hold them accountable.

Fire Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer (and Harry Reid) ...

They've succeeded at nothing (except delaying the destruction of SS). They are not leaders unless they are deliberately leading us to the radical GOP/Corporate drummer. They are craven and as embarrassing as ol' McSame. [The United States didn't always look like this]
Not even the media establishment and the GOP can refrain from mocking this pretense they're trying to peddle. What's amazing is that they're actually as devoid of dignity as they are integrity.

As I noted yesterday, the GOP couldn't even wait for the ink to dry on this "compromise" before publicly -- and accurately -- boasting that they not only got everything they want, but got even more than they dreamed they would get. ...

As Glenn Greenwald shows, bi-partisanship means that the Democratically 'controlled' Congress passes everything the GOP/corporate structure and media suckups want. It does not mean negotiation nor compromise with the electorate's goals or even attempting to live up to their oath of office. It means total surrender and that is just what the Democratic 'leadership' in Congress is doing with FISA. Harry Reid carries off a bumbling form of capitulation better that Hoyer and Pelosi. Probably because Hoyer and Pelosi are actually more competent and can't quite pull off the bumbling act (I-didn't-want-it-to-turn-out-that-way-oh-my) without showing the strain.

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

I'm sure glad we elected a Democratic Congress. Otherwise we would be seeing rubberstamping of Bush Administraion all over the place.

FISA vote could come as early as this evening. No one outside Hoyer, Bond, Rockefeller, WH negotiators and a select few staffers and lobbyist pals have seen the bill.

I'd like to underscore the fact that in 2006, when the Congress was controlled by Bill Frist and Denny Hastert, the administration tried to get a bill passed legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, but was unable. They had to wait until the Congress was controlled by Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to accomplish that.

... The utter reality is that John McCain has evolved into a master kiss-ass, a sellout who abandoned core principles on torture and immigration simply to politically survive in a Republican party run amok in disastrous radicalism. ...

... But what makes it all the more notable is how repeatedly Gingrich invokes this same deranged formulation in order to argue for a whole array of policies he supports -- we better accept what Gingrich wants or else we'll "lose a city" ...

I don't know who John Pilger was, but he certainly hit the nail on the head. I saw this quote in an article about Barack Obama and his support for the American empire. No, there will not be change coming from him. As always change will come from us, or not at all. Actually I take that back. Good change will come from us. There is going to be change, the only question is whose and who will it benefit.

... In fact, whenever a national crisis has occurred, Bush has been conspicuously absent. ...

... Arbitration: "Set up to squeeze small sums of money out of desperately poor people" ...

It's still hard to believe we've descended to the point where we're relieved when the United States Supreme Court rules in favor of a restraint on the executive that is clearly spelled out in the United States Constitution, rather than marching in the streets to protest the fact that four of its members actually failed to join the majority and instead wrote insane dissents.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Let's fire Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid ...

... revolting toads, or is that turds, that they are.

They've been shamed and beaten, the Republicans are crowing, and the lies keep coming.

Pelosi submits to whatever.

Glenn Greenwald reports that
Several readers have emailed to say that they called the Obama campaign and were told that Obama and his staff are "literally reviewing the bill right now and will make a statement shortly." This Kos diarist reports the same thing.
This wasn't my experience as you can read in the previous post. I was not able to get anyone on the phone (others had the same problem) and the response to my emails was not encouraging coming from the leader of the Democratic Party. Shall we 'hope.' [I'm having just too much fun with that word, but I will willingly trade the 'fun' for 'results.']

Republicans crow, as most would who change defeat into victory.

Remember, the Democrats are the majority party. This cannot be pulled off without the Democratic leadership's cooperation. This is a plot by the Democratic leadership to betray those they represent and conspire with Bush, the GOP and the Telecoms. This was a betrayal, a plot hatched behind closed doors, a conspiracy that bypassed committees and reviews, organized right out of the corrupt GOP playbook. It is not compromise, not a negotiation.

Obama, MIA? ...

This is the response to my message to the Obama campaign about the FISA abomination Steny Hoyer is about to pull off.
Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting Senator Obama. We're glad to have your comments. Barack greatly appreciates the outpouring of messages expressing different views he has received from across the country and from Americans around the world, and we appreciate hearing from you.

We're on the way to creating the changes we seek, but we will only get there by uniting tens of millions of Americans around a new way of practicing politics and a set of sensible solutions to the great challenges we face as a nation.

Thank you again for contacting Senator Obama.


Obama for America
I think the second paragraph makes it very clear that it will continue to be business as usual while Obama holds out 'hope' for "a new way of practicing politics" somewhere in our future. He's sounding more Republican by the minute.

Like Republicans, like Democrats. Oh the Irony ...

Pelosi: ‘We Will Create the Most Open and Honest Government in History’
Lawmakers must have the opportunity to read every bill before they vote on it. It’s common sense.
Well that didn't last long:
FISA vote could come as early as this evening. No one outside Hoyer, Bond, Rockefeller, WH negotiators and a select few staffers and lobbyist pals have seen the bill.

Strange Bedfellows ...

Simon talks to some of the members of Strange Bedfellows, a group which is trying to remind some wayward elected Democrats of their oath of office, you know the one where they swear to uphold the Constitution, not to fold, spindle or mutilate it.
Strange Bedfellows: Bloggers from the left and right team up with the ACLU to fight telecom immunity
On a 'lighter' note read
Right wing bloggers employ investigative journalism skills to “skim” documents

Disappointing that we have to fight the Democrats in Congress ...

... as well al the Republicans.

Obamamaniacs, is this what you 'hoped' for? ...

While stating that he is against telecomm immunity, Obama is supporting the re-election of one of the worst Bush-agenda Democrats, Congressman John Barrow (shades of Lieberman).
This is everything Obama claims so vehemently to oppose, claims he wants to end. And yet the Congress under the control of his party is about to enact a radical bill to legalize vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and immunize telecoms who broke our country's laws for years. And not only is Obama doing nothing about any of that, but far more, he's actively intervening in a Democratic primary to help one of the worst enablers of all of this stay in power, while helping to defeat an insurgent, community-based challenger.
There's much more, read Obama, telecoms and the Beltway system.
But it's critical to keep in mind that Obama is a politician and, like all people, is plagued by significant imperfections. He has largely entrenched himself in, and is dependent upon, the power structure he says he wants to undermine. Uncritical devotion to political leaders, including him, is destructive. Obama needs pressure, criticism, checks, and real scrutiny just like anyone else in power in order to keep him accountable, responsive, and faithful to the principles he claims are the ones driving him.
Still better than McCain, but ... this is our system, where the media ensures that the most Republican like candidates are the only Democrats left standing. That way, should they win they won't upset the rich and powerful so very much ...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Steny Hoyer changes his lies ...

Lying then and lying now. One set of lies didn't work, so he tries another.
Plainly, Hoyer -- who spent the last week emphatically (and falsely) denying he had negotiated a bill with telecom amnesty -- engineered this bill because he wanted to, and as was indicated here yesterday, now that negotiations are complete and this campaign against him has begun, he's trying to distance himself from it and pretend that it wasn't his doing.
Notice that Pelosi is doing nothing to keep a FISA capitulation from happening. She's just keeping her distance so she can claim it wasn't her fault. By doing nothing she's making it clear she also wants to continue the Republican agenda. She's the leader. She can't claim she has no power to stop this. If she's really that powerless then she should be replaced.

Hold these elected officials accountable for the actions.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer ...

UPDATE below. UPDATE II below.
With these three so called Democrats the US is in no better hands than with the corrupt Republicans. Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, and some others Democrats, are following the Republican Constitution destroying and illegal warmongering agendas. They are just doing so at a slower pace while attempting to keep their manipulations secret. That means they want the same things Bush wants. There's no other believable explanation. Working in secret against their own. I thought Reid and Pelosi were incompetent and weak. Instead they were Judas.

So here's your choice. Destroy the country at breakneck speed with the Republicans or at a slower pace with the Democrats (and not all that much slower, a fact they're shoving in our face this week).

That doesn't seem to be much of a choice after all. And where does the saviour Obama stand in this. 'Leading' somewhere off to the side exuding hope but 'above' the fray ... ? Speaking of hope, I was actually hoping he might do something. But I guess that's the wrong kind of hope ...

For the dirty details read:
Targeting Steny Hoyer for his contempt for the rule of law
A Competely Totally Shocking Headline That Leaves One Slack-Jawed in Disbelief

Reid, Pelosi and Hoyer have to go. Conspiring to pass de facto telecomm immunity legislation, along with the rest of of it, while pretending they are not doing so. Setting up legislation to pass in such a way they will be free to vote against that very legislation is weasely, deceitful, corrupt and beyond the pale.

UPDATE June 18 - Here's a very succinct version of what's going on with the Democratic Congress: FISA sellouts under fire

UPDATE II June 18 - As usual, a writer at The Left Coaster expresses my disbelief and horror better than I can:
... as we all can see, if telecom immunity passes under the “leadership” of Senator Obama all bets are off. I’m terribly sorry, my own leadership has been lying to me horribly for months—I thought we had the brains and character as a Party to lead this country well again. We don’t. If we win in November I don’t know what will happen in any critical policy area, I just don’t, we don’t have the character to implement any core principle. I’m really sorry to make it appear we did.

[ ... ]

... It appears that Daily Kos, at this point, generally would be described as acquiescent to betrayal and utter disgrace in abandoning core principles. I’m truly sorry, that’s precisely the message conveyed with silence.

That will not be my path. The Democratic Party and Senator Obama will likely never see another dime of mine for at least a decade, I don’t enable psychosis and betrayal. A vote and a voice for the Little People will fulfill duty quite enough, oh yes. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the yard signs.

[read paradox's entire post]

I'll support the ACLU. Any other money I give to political organizations will go to efforts to force accountability upon these betrayers of our trust.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The corruption of Steny Hoyer ...

One needs to ask why he is so set on selling us out ...
Steny Hoyer’s Offices Lied to Me Today.

This morning, I opened my email and found a bulletin from It looks like Steny Hoyer is up to his old tricks, and selling out our Fourth Amendment rights to that bastion of ethics, George “mr. 28% Approval Bush.
Of course, it's not just Hoyer.

An improved chance of survival ...

... is the reason behind some of the common faces humans (and some animals) make.
Emotional faces weren't just for looks. The team found that a fearful visage improves peripheral vision, speeds up eye movement, and boosts air flow, potentially allowing a person to more quickly sense and respond to danger. Squinty, scrunched-up disgusted faces had the opposite effect, limiting vision and decreasing air flow, ostensibly to keep out substances that might be harmful to the eyes or lungs.

Really, the Democrats are worthless ...

They may not be as outright evil as the Republicans, but they are trying real hard.
Bill Of Rights OK'd For Destruction By Independence Day
The link has another call for Obama to step up and defend the Constitution and, just generally, act like a leader should. Don't expect it to happen. It would be real nice to be wrong about this ... but the Democrats in Congress have let us down time and time again. Social Security was the only item they held the line on.

Silence so far ...

I keep reading the following suggestion, various places, round about:
If Senator Obama truly wanted to prove himself as a leader and strongly rebuke the past 8 years of privacy abuse and lawlessness, he would use his standing as presumptive nominee to rally Democrats (and some honest Republicans) to propose a new bill that closes any real “intelligence gaps,” but demands that the telecoms defend their conduct in a court of law to determine whether or not they broke the law. That shouldn’t be a controversial proposition. The telecoms can’t break the law just because the President told them they could.
Though I think Obama will be better than McCain, I see nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that indicates that Obama will not be a corporate-control-of-America president.

I think Democrats who don't want McCain, or any current Republican, near the White House will just finally keep quiet. So much for fighting for a better world ...

Snowbowl continues development plans despite court ruling

From the Navajo Hopi Observer: Snowbowl continues development plans despite court ruling
"It's unfortunate that the tribes and Indigenous people across the nation have to wage a constant struggle to protect sites they hold holy or sacred," stated Howard Shanker, attorney for the various tribal groups named in the initial lawsuit.
Sort of how I feel about the constant struggle to just keep some of our civil rights ... which it's not clear that we have done.

It couldn't be drier ...

I like the Arizona Daily Sun. Today they inform us that the NWS defines June 15 as the beginning of Arizona's monsoon season (and September 30 as the end). Previously the monsoon season was defined by dew point.

They also remind us that the monsoon season includes violent thunderstorms, blinding dust storms, strong winds and heavy (sometimes similar to standing under a bucket of water poured directly on the head) rains.

The NWS monsoon tracker link didn't work.

Tucson's weather forecast for today and tonight:
Today: A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 106. Northwest wind between 9 and 16 mph.

Tonight: A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 76. West northwest wind 6 to 15 mph becoming southeast.
As of 9am MST the temp was 96. The dew point was 45 (humidity 18%), fast approaching the point where swamp (evaporative) coolers will no longer work.

What else would like to know about Arizona, and Tucson in particular?

All those media empty heads ...

The empty headed media response to Tim Russert passing away has made it even more clear that the media views the 'news' shows as their play ground and no more. They know these productions have nothing to do with supplying the public with real, timely or accurate information. So how could there be a problem when they co-opt all for a Russert orgy.
There's a flood? Where? If it's still there when we're finished gorging ourselves on burying Tim Russert, we'll give it a look-see.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is what Phil Griffin thinks about women viewers of Olbermann's sexist show ...

Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News and the executive in charge of MSNBC said of Clinton supporters who are disappointed and angry that Keith Olbermann turned out to be such a sexist pig:
But I do think they’re going to come back. There’s nowhere else to go.
Ah, the you are my prisoner, I own you, you have no where else to go, routine ...

They got it wrong and they knew ...

America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men by Tom Lasseter, McClatchy Newspapers via digby
Often held the wrong men, as in VERY, VERY OFTEN.

Vote for John McCain and you are voting for more of the same.

Nothing here, move along ...

Long before today's debate over the need for a federal task force to probe the FLDS Church, a federal civil rights investigation concluded the polygamous sect was doing nothing worth prosecuting.
  • "This is not a denial of housing because of the victims' religion per se, but rather because the victims were supposedly unfaithful to the church's requirements," he wrote.
Yeah, kicking people out of their homes, denying them the ability to work, forcing marriages ... nothing to see, move along.

Good Memories about the Civilian Conservation Corps ...

Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff, takes a ride down memory lane to 'different' times: Hard work, but glad to have it by Larry Hendricks.
Fraijo said his two-year stint was up in 1940, and after an 18-month stretch working at a copper smelter, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy -- still underage. While in the Navy, he asked his captain if he would help make him a U.S. citizen. The captain put in the paperwork, and when his service was up, Fraijo was a U.S. citizen.

By 1942, because the war had begun and everybody was working, Congress stopped funding the CCC and it ceased.

He recalled the camaraderie. The men got along, joked and never fought.

"Everybody was happy to be working," Fraijo said.
Read the entire article.

Yesterday's QUOTES ...

... non-defensive intervention overseas is a fully bipartisan criminal enterprise ...

... preached freedom while he practiced Guantanamo ...

... over the years there have been dozens of reporters whose newspaper careers ended (or dead-ended) because of excessively accurate reporting ... [via The Sideshow]

... Indeed, it’s the modern pundit’s most basic skill: Even when her facts are wrong, she still knows how to interpret them: ...

Clinton's campaign ripped open a hole in our culture and forced us to look inside. And what we found was a simmering cauldron of crude, sophomoric sexism and ugly misogyny that a lot of us knew existed but didn't realize was still so socially acceptable that it could be broadcast on national television and garner nary a complaint from anybody but a few internet scolds like me. It was eye-opening, to say the least.

It's not difficult to understand why our media stars are so dismissive of the crimes committed by the Bush administration. It's because, with very few exceptions, they've endorsed and defended those crimes. ...

[...] The same stars of the Liberal Media who paralyzed the country for two years with their fixation on Bill Clinton's sex scandal -- and who relentlessly insisted that he be forced from office -- have spent the last seven years calmly telling us that there is no reason to get all excited or upset by what the administration has been doing. As the administration repeatedly broke multiple laws and degraded every last realm of our political culture, most of our Broder-led media class remained nice and "calm and quiet." Of course they don't believe there should be any consequences for the crimes that have been committed by this administration because, as complicit enablers in all of it, those crimes are also their own.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Uh huh, a mathematical error causes the loss of 1200 recall signatures?

This clerks 'error' appears to mean that there is no recall petition. Rather convenient for someone, isn't it?
A mathematical error led to more than 1,200 signatures calling for the recall of Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman to be rejected by the Town Clerk's Office on Friday, about 24 hours after they were submitted.

The Town Clerk's ruling is the latest chapter in the saga between Berman and political foe Fred Phillis, who chaired the End Corruption in Gilbert political action committee that sought to remove Berman from the mayor's chair.

Town Clerk Cathy Templeton, in a letter to Phillis dated Friday, said the 120-plus pages of petitions were rejected because of a calculation error by the Clerk's Office that said a minimum of 981 valid signatures were needed to place the recall election on a future ballot.

Rather, according to Templeton's letter to Phillis, a minimum of 1,963 were needed.

In the letter, Templeton apologized to Phillis and shouldered blame for the mistake.

Excuse me. Just how is the clerk shouldering the blame? It appears that the recall effort loses, not the clerk and not the mayor ... in fact, the mayor appears to gain from this mathematical error.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Complexities ...

... keep scientists on their toes (metaphorically speaking).
The alkaline soil of Gubantonggut [China's Gubantonggut Desert] is socking away large quantities of CO2 in an inorganic form.
Halfway around the world, researchers have found that Nevada's Mojave Desert, square meter for square meter, absorbs about the same amount of CO2 as some temperate forests. The two sets of findings suggest that deserts are unsung players in the global carbon cycle.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's not that simple ...

Arthur Silber asks:
So what is your choice? Do the world -- and your life, and the lives of those you love -- mean so little to you, that you will risk losing them all? Is that what you want? Do you still choose to do nothing?

Do you?
He's says we should do something more than writing letters. We should do something like they did in the 60's. If I remember rightly, and I'm definitely not a historian, the impetus for the civil rights marches started with churches and college students. And those marches, and other forms of civil disobedience, were reported and televised.

Today, churches seem to be on the side of authoritarianism. Rights and justice just don't seem to interest them. I don't know where college students stand today but I think they are quite aware that the protests against the Iraq war were hardly reported or televised. All that effort went down one big black hole.

In addition it's much easier, and more immediate, to look around you and see the injustices of segregation than to look into the future and understand what will happen if/when a criminal US attacks Iran. Specially when the media, the medium we depend upon to help inform us of facts, instead weaves fantasy while sending those facts down another big black hole.

Heil Chief Justice John Roberts ...

... who thinks the Bush Administration (which represents the United States of America to the world, by the way) has been just so generous in their treatment of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called “the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.”
There are still a few somewhat more rational homo sapiens on the court who decided
that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
Will this attempt to uphold a little, but quite important, piece of the constitution be a hit or the third strike?

The court has ruled twice previously that people held at Guantanamo without charges can go into civilian courts to ask that the government justify their continued detention. Each time, the administration and Congress, then controlled by Republicans, changed the law to try to close the courthouse doors to the detainees.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Perspective ...

I don't know, there may have been a post or two at Worry Wart that I didn't find instructive and informative. There may have been, but I don't recall one. However, on a scale of one to 10, Worry Wart's post The Heart of Feminism is a definite 10. Here's a excerpt:

Feminists complain about a persistent, insular, and dysfunctional patriarchy. It plagues politics and corporate governments causing the same kind of pain and difficulty in good reasoning that a perpetual migrain headache might cause.

It’s an accurate observation in many cases. The problem with men arises from the fact that in agricultural and post agricutural societies the culture is almost completely derived from principles of individual property ownership. And property ownership is one of the primary distinguishing characteristics of mating priviledges for males.

In this context it is nearly always (assumed to be) in the male’s best (evolutionary) interest to magnify the power difference between himself and the next male lower on the economic scale. Thus, males tend to build highly vertical heirarchical societies with great inequality. And they tend to be cruel to those of lower status. It’s a tendency that is deeply embeddeed in the psyche; it is one that we inherit from other primates such as the ancestors common to us and baboons. It is one we share with most social mammals including most pack and herd animals.

The grave problem with this culture is that it tends to produce a small number of very rich people and a large number of very poor ones. This leads to social unrest and ferment. And this, in turn, leads to violence. That this is almost entirely absent from North America’s history is an artifact of the huge bounty of natural resources its European settlers have enjoyed by virtue of settling a huge almost empty continent. But when that bounty becomes sufficiently depleted, the process will be observed here, too.

Read the entire post.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Can the Democrats in Congress explain why ...

... given
the Democrats in the House are still determined to give a criminal and Constitution-breaking president and traitorous Republican Party a victory by passing Republican legislation retroactively forgiving the law breaking telecoms for their crimes against American citizens.

Steny Hoyer and Jay Rockefeller demonstrated their corruption last month. This month it's House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes who's corruption is showing.

Even as Americans are working to take our country back, these elected Democrats are conspiring with criminal and traitorous Republicans to further undermine our country.

It used to be ... 'Those Crazy Russians'

No longer. Now it's 'Those Stupid Americans.'
Pipes: Bush Will Attack Iran If A Democrat Wins The White House

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Really, we have to stop thinking of the 'illegal alien' explosion ...

... as a criminal matter. We have to stop viewing ourselves (the US) as the center of the universe. Something worse is going on here. The US, has in the past, at times, thought of itself as a solver of problems. Well, there are big problems going on in the world and US and foreign corporations are at the heart of them. That's the only manner in which we, the US Citizens are the center of anything. We are allowing, aiding and abetting, the corporate empires to collect all power into their greedy and bloody grasp.
Mexico’s Ghost Towns --The other side of the immigration debate by John Gibler

Cerrito del Agua, population 3,000, has no paved roads — either leading to it or within it. No restaurants, no movie theaters, no shopping malls. In fact, the small town located in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas has no middle schools, high schools or colleges; no cell phone service, no hospital. Its surrounding fields are dry and untended. The streets are empty.

The explosion of emigration to the United States over the past 15 years has emptied much of central Mexico, even reaching into southernmost states like Chiapas and Yucatan. But it has simply devastated Zacatecas, a dry, rolling agricultural region located about 400 miles northwest of Mexico City.

How we approach this problem can make a difference. Rounding up, jailing, abusing those who have come to this country is not only cruel and barbaric, it is not in our own best interests.

We are not helping anyone when we abuse others and we have a sorry set of politicians who either are corrupt or weak. We all are playing into the overseers' [greedy corporate] hands.